hairstyle

Following on from my previous post about Ballroom makeup, it’s time to continue with Part 2 of mine and Rachel Macintosh’s collaboration; the Ballroom Hairstyle! This can be an ever frustrating topic and I’m hoping to shed a little light on the subject and hopefully help you on your merry way so that it’s not something that you dread but actually something you begin to enjoy 🙂 The main factors that contribute to a sleek and professional do are the products, the idea and the execution. All sounds easy peasy on paper but those of us that have attempted ballroom hair before know that this is a different story altogether in reality..

Let’s start with the tools as these are generally what you should (I hope) organise before you even try to start having a crack at that awesome hairstyle you saw on Pinterest the other day. Here’s a little list of the things I always make sure to have on hand:

  • Strong hold Hairspray (I love Schwarzkopf Silhouette.. the BEST!)
  • Hair Gel (optional)
  • Bristle brush or any other brush
  • Comb
  • Hair elastics
  • Hair nets/ bun nets
  • Hair pins (not bobby pins)
  • Hairdryer
  • Craft Glue (UHU is awesome if you can find it!)
  • Diamontes (optional)

I listed Hair Gel as optional as I’m not a massive fan of using it as it will make your hair look darker than it is. Great if you have black hair but if you are blonde or red like me then it will alter the colour of your hair and can sometimes make it appear quite dull. Also, I feel you can create the whole look by only using hairspray (which won’t change your hair colour) and can make it even more immoveable than if you were to use gel! The trick is in the hairdryer.. but we will get to that in a mo. Avoid bobby pins and try to buy hairpins that are ‘U’ shaped as these hold much better and can be hidden easier too. With the hair nets make sure to buy thin nets that have small holes so that your hair stays within the net and you have no escapees! Don’t go for big thick nets as these can sometimes look a little granny-esque and the whole reason for the net is to hold the hair together whilst still being invisible. Which brings me to my next point of making sure to buy nets that are closest to your hair colour, sounds obvious I know but you would be surprised!! Lastly, if you would like to take your hair to the next level then try stoning it! This may be a little tricky on your own so try to get some help if you can. Apply some craft glue directly to the hair and then start with the stones. A little trick I learnt when stoning is to get a pencil and place a bit of blue-tac on the end and then pick up the stones face side up. When washing the glue out, I’ve found that combing through hair lathered in conditioner works best. I simply shampoo and condition my hair as per normal and slide the bits of glue down the hair whilst the conditioner is still in 🙂 ahhh the things we have to do huh!?

When creating your hairstyle it’s best to have a few visual aids of what you would like to create. I like to either have a couple of inspo pictures on my phone or even just an idea of something in my mind so that I can go in with a battle plan. This way I can also revert back to what I’m actually trying to do when I lose my way (often). When choosing your hairstyle, try to think about what will suit your face, body, dress and any other factors that might come into play on the dance floor. For me, I know that Steve and I have a little bit of a height difference so I always opt for piling my hair on top of my head to give me height and length. Also I feel the higher styles elongate my neckline which is great for Ballroom but might not necessarily be the right option for Latin. Beyond that, I often look to my dress design as I feel it always gives me clues on what is and isn’t going to work with the chosen image. If I have a headpiece I like to work around that or if there is something strong like line detail on the dress then I try to relay this theme into my hair. These are just some things to bear in mind when you are deciding as sometimes what you like may not be the most flattering for you or for your partnership.

hair inspo
Little bit of inspo!

Once you are ready to start letting your creative side loose, it’s best to start by sectioning the hair off into smaller sections. This way you can work step-by-step through the hairstyle and perfect each part along the way. I always try to leave some hair out at the front, closer to my face and have a section which becomes the ponytail/bun. I find it best to tackle the bun and ponytail first because doing this sets up the grounds for what everything else will work around. Once the bun is done then styling the smaller sections at the front of the hair is the easy part! Try to always do this bit with hair that has no product in it by smoothing the hair into the way you wish it to go first and then hitting it with the hairspray, hairdryer combo. This way the hair should turn into what I like to call Lego hair and coupled with a few pins, won’t be going ANYWHERE! No matter how fast your head flicks are 😉

For a little more detail and a walk through of how I do Rachel’s hair into a basic, sleek low bun watch the video below!

I hope these few little tips have been helpful and the best advice I can give on this subject is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!! This is not something that you will be legendary at straight away (if you are then damn you! ha ha) and it’s something that you will have to do over and over again to learn the way your hair wants to go. I’ve been doing my own hair now for around 10 years and sometimes it still gets the better of me! But that doesn’t stop me from trying new things and playing around with different ideas! Oh and one last thing, always make sure your hair is relatively dirty as it will hold better and give your self plenty of time before hand to avoid the pre-comp stress. Happy Hair-styling 🙂

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog in the box listed waaaaay below. If your on a mobile keep scrolling to the very end and you will find it 🙂 Also go check out Rach’s YouTube channel by searching Rachel Macintosh for more Ballroom related content and many more funnies. Follow me on Instagram on @rachelle.plaass and follow Macca on @rachelmacintoshmua!

Braids are IN! They have been popping up all over my social media for a while now and they are a trend I quite enjoy. I like to rock a braid when my hair is on the dirtier side, when the weather is hot and sometimes – SHOCK HORROR! just because. Whilst learning the art of braiding is not what I would describe as ‘easy’, once mastered it’s a skill that you will have forever and it does come in very handy. Once you’ve practiced the basics 527 times then you should be well on the way to gaining a bit of a rhythm with your hands and soon you wont even have to think about what you are doing. Good old muscle memory! Bit like driving a manual car.. (I assume? Automatic gal over here).

I thought that today I would mention 3 different braided ideas, 2 that I do a lot and 1 that seems to be exceedingly popular on the inter-web. I will try my very, very best to explain what my fingers and hands are doing through this process but I suggest you maybe also try to watch a couple of YouTube videos before hand just to scrub up on the basic idea of what’s going on. The only words of wisdom I can give are; be patient, keep calm and keep your braid tight! This is not something you will be able to do straight away and it is a skill that needs to be learnt but if you already know how to plait hair then you are halfway there! If not, then what were you doing all those years of primary school if you weren’t plaiting other girls’ hair? Actually learning?!!

THE FRENCH BRAID WITH TUCKED TAIL

This is my most loved braid of choice. I haven’t yet learnt how to dutch braid so all my braids at the mo are of the French variety 🙂 I love this hairstyle because it’s a great option for getting dirty, unruly hair up and out of the way and has a lovely effect.

  1. Brush all of your hair back and away from your face
  2. Take a small section of hair from the front of your head (from your forehead to the crown) and separate from the rest of the hair
  3. Split this section into 3 smaller sections. If we are working from your left to your right, lets label each section A, B and C accordingly
  4. Take section C and pull it over B (so that it becomes the new middle section) and then take section A and pull it over C
  5. Now you have done a plait and set up your braid. This is where you will want to find a way of holding all 3 sections with one hand. For me, I start by holding with my left hand. I hold section C (left section) between my thumb and index finger, I push down section A (middle section) with the middle part of my index finger and hold section B (right section) between my index and middle finger
  6. I then use my right hand, using the thumb as a type of parting tool to pull a section horizontally from my face toward my crown. I then take this parted section and place between my index finger and middle finger to join section B
  7. Once joined, pull section A (middle) with your right hand to the right place section B over A and hold down with your index finger of your right hand and take hold of section C with your thumb and index finger
  8. Repeat the process done in step 6 using your left hand and join with the thumb and index finger of the right hand (section C)
  9. Repeat step 7 doing the same thing done on the right side. Pull the middle section to the left (B), Pull section C across B and push down with the middle of the index finger and hold A between the index and middle finger. Continue with this process until you make your way down the whole head and get to the nape of the neck
  10. Plait the remaining length of the hair to form a tail and secure with an elastic band
  11. You can either leave as is from here, but I like to fold the tail up and under and tuck into the braid and secure with some pins
  12. To tidy up any loose bit of hair I comb them through toward the braid and then secure into the braid with some pins. I then just give the whole thing a good spray with some hairspray

THE HALF FRENCH BRAID

This one’s for those days when you want a bit more of a relaxed look and you would like to leave some of your hair out and free-flowing like the beautiful goddess that you are! I recently did this hairstyle for a floor show and straightened the hair that was left out and the look came together really well. Straightening the hair is a nice way of taking this look to the next level if you are going out and want to look chic. Rather than repeating myself I will just refer to some of the steps above mentioned in the full braid.

  1. Follow steps 1-9 of the full braid above but only braid half the head
  2. Once you have done to about your ears, stop braiding and plait the remaining length of hair
  3. Secure the plait with an elastic band
  4. Pull a section of hair from the right and a section from the left across meeting at the elastic
  5. Secure these two sections with a small plastic elastic if possible and on the last loop of securing incorporate the plait too
  6. Finish with a bit of hairspray

THE PIGTAIL BRAIDS

This hairstyle is super popular on the net, thanks mostly to the Kardashians. It’s great if you are looking for an edgy yet girly look to your braids and can be used as a great base for a couple of different options that I mention below! Aahh, pigtails take me back to my childhood 🙂

  1. Part your hair down the centre of your head using a comb
  2. Secure one section loosely with a hair tie so that its out of the way
  3. Start braiding the first half of your hair once again using the technique mentioned in the full braid above. Taking hair from the part now rather than from the side like the full braid
  4. When you get closer to the ear make sure to pull tight on the sections of hair closest to the ear so that the braid isn’t loose and hanging straight down but follows the curve of your head
  5. Secure at the end of the braid with an elastic
  6. Proceed to do the same with the other half of hair and secure with an elastic

SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS:

  • to go for a bit of a Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games-esque hairstyle then grab both tails and pin across and around each other in a type of figure 8 along the nape of the neck
  • tuck the tails up into the braid the same as step 12 on the full braid

Hopefully with the warmer weather coming your will thank me for some of these up do ideas! Also, if you’re like me and tend to opt for a braid when your hair’s dirty then maybe try to smooth on some form of leave in conditioner before hand. I like to use Davroe Ends Repair Leave-In Treatment. This brand is 100% Aussie made, plant-based and vegan friendly.. plus the product smells gorgeous too! I have really noticed a change in my ends and when purchased on Salonstyle.com is only $10. Using a leave in treatment is a double win really because its able to work its magic whilst your hair is up and out of the way and it makes the hair slightly tacky and bendable which makes life so much easier while braiding (ain’t nobody want to braid slippery, just washed hair!)

Check out some more awesome products for your hair over at Salon Style!

Love, Rachelle x

 

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I’m a big fan of curls. Curls get the girls, my boyfriend always likes to remind me. Not that I’m particularly interested in ‘getting’ the girls, but I am interested in liking my hairstyle. In reference to the girls though, I find that something I am asked ALL THE TIME is “how do you curl your hair like that?” to which I reply “my straightener”. Makes sense right?! Most people think I’m being my usual sarcastic self when in fact I’m being deadly serious. Following their look of disbelief I usually feel compelled to show people how I achieve my curls using random hand gestures mimicking a flat-iron and giving them a list of complicated instructions. Fail. So I thought, what the heck I’ll do a blog post on it! Mum, you can thank me later!

curls

Now, first off, if you are looking for beachy, wavy curls that almost every woman on the planet is rocking at the moment well this blog post aint for you. Sorry gals, but I’m a bit of a fan of the 50’s and I’m taking it back to the glamour days where pin curls ruled supreme. Think Marilyn Monroe. Sophia Loren, Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. These women know what’s up on the sexy front.. none of this fake lips, fake ass, fake everything nonsense. Just pure class and feminine beauty. Back in the day, these women dedicated hours to their hair, pinning it up into curls every night before bed so they could wake up with glorious curly manes in the morning. Lucky for us modern ladies though, we now have the help of heated utensils which save us the man hours and also give us a super professional effect. My trusty styling sidekick is the GHD straightener. It always gives the perfect tight 50’s curl that I am after and makes the job super quick and easy. The best part being that I only curl my hair after I have washed and blow-dried it and the curls last for 5 days. YES, 5 DAMN DAYS! This suits me down to the ground because I’m really not one for dealing with my hair every day (not a morning person, remember?) It usually takes me around 20 minutes and bear in mind my hair is super thick and semi-long so for you it may be even quicker!

Oh, and I recommend you try this first with your straightener switched off, just so that you can learn how to maneuver your hands and what not without trying first off with a super hot iron and burning the eff out of your hair 🙂

  • First up I section my hair horizontally leaving out a thin section of hair and tie the rest out of the way
  • Then I grab a small section of hair (working from the hair closest to my face outwards) and clasp the straightener around it
  • Next I wrap the section of hair around the GHD, working in an under and over the top motion. I then rotate the GHD, whilst still clasping the hair in a 180 degree circle away from my face. It should end up that the ends of the hair are poking out of the GHD facing the mirror.
  • I then pull the GHD down the hair slowly all the way to the end

Check the quick little video below to see how I do it if my typing doesn’t make sense!

  • Wa-Lah! Perfect curl!
  • Repeat this same idea making sure to work in sections all the way up the head. You can make the separate sections as big or small as you like!
ghd-curling
Nearly Done!

When I get closer to the top of my head I start to pull the GHD up and outwards rather that in a downward motion, this just gives a little more volume to the curl closer to the root. Depending on whether you have a side, middle or no part will depend on how you choose to do the top. I have a fringe that I am growing out so I opt for a side part, because of this I section the fringe into 3 small sections and curl them exactly the same so that the curl goes up and over.

That’s it, you’re done! Ha ha.. I kid. You should now have a head full of ringlets Shirley Temple style. Now it’s time to brush out some of that craziness, I opt for a round bristle brush but any type of bristle-y brush will do. The bristles will keep the curl soft and fluffy whilst also helping them mold together. If it ends up being too ‘brushed’ for your liking flip your head over and shake your fingers through the ends to break them up a little. This will also give some SERIOUS volume! Don’t be put off if it’s still quite curly, if you keep brushing it you can brush out some of the curl and it will continue to drop as time goes on. On the other hand if you don’t want it to drop, hit it up with a decent amount of strong hairspray.. this is how I roll. That way the curls really have some lasting power 🙂

finished
Finito!

I hope this all makes sense, maybe soon when I get a little better at the whole video side of things I might make a tutorial where I curl my whole head so you all can see the wizardry! But for now this is what I’ve got.. if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

 

 

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